Posted by Dieter
May 25, 2024


I'm not sure if it's schadenfreude, or just amusement.

I arrived at a casino today, approximately an hour after a weather event briefly knocked out power. All systems are trying desperately to reboot. Player club kiosks are down. TITO redemption kiosks are down. Club screens on all the slots aren't working right. The digital signage is all displaying the manufacturer logo as a screensaver. The player's club booth attendants are being about as helpful as ever, sitting there making sure that the chairs don't suddenly fly off the floor.

People are seated at about 64% of the machines, just sitting - not playing. Songs of "handpay lockup" are filling the air, but most of the screens are suggesting pitifully small amounts due - $0.30, $37.46, etc. Well under the usual handpay threshold. Slot attendants are running around trying to get all the handpays processed, but having seen this before, I know it will be about 4 hours.

Most restaurants can't run payment cards, as their POS systems are down. (This also means my food comp will have to wait.)

I had an opportunity to chat with someone at the self service soda fountain (the only "machine" that's working). He gave me the timeline so far.

The announcer is saying that they expect to resume today's promo drawings in about an hour, "we're very sorry for the problems", and "thank you for your patience and kindness as our attendants are working to get everyone paid out".

So it stinks for the players, but hopefully they give me an extra incentive once I trip myself (once) on the card system, once it's back online.

Who am I laughing at?
The casino. Can't afford to save that much on the battery backup systems, apparently.


Dieter May 25, 2024

The hotel checkin desk is stopped.

The bingo checkin desk is stopped.

Techs are crawling into slot pedestals rebooting network gear.

Security guards are carrying new UPS (battery backup) units over to the techs under the slots.

ChumpChange May 25, 2024

I've always wondered what happens to casinos during severe weather events. Here's a first hand description. Maybe don't play machines during severe weather, just use the parking garage to save on hail damage. Of course you can't really see what's going on outside from inside a casino until the lights go out and you can walk outside to see torrential rain. Might be safer at table games that don't rely so much on electronics.

Dieter May 26, 2024

About 3 hours after incident, most gaming machines were again issuing TITOs. This does not help the people still waiting on handpays - once it's locked up, it's locked up until the key goes in.

Most handpays were processed about 4 hours after incident.

TITO kiosks were still down 6 hours after incident, with an uncomfortably long line for the cage. Fortunately, I'm staying nearby for the weekend, so I can comfortably go to sleep and cash my tickets when either things get working or the line is short.

Other gripes... the on-property hotel is full, and I'm moving on just before when they have rooms, so there's another useless comp. I can just barely stick around until mailer o'clock on Monday, so I may as well redeem that freeplay offer.

And yes, CC, I did see a burst of action at the dice table, and apparently some $5 3:2 games. No idea if the RFID readers at the cage would make a cashout problem, but I wouldn't put it past them.

Power outages that I see usually go something like this: Lights go out. The crowd goes silent. Dealers collapse on the chip racks. Everybody says "ooooh". Lights come back on after 7 seconds. All the slot machines start rebooting. Everybody starts speculating about what happened. After ten minutes, about 12% of the machines do not finish rebooting normally. After most machines reboot, people start trying to cash out (possibly with rumors about "unlucky"), and getting handpay lockups for 3 cents ("See? Unlucky."). After another 20 minutes, many people start abandoning machines locked up for less than a $1 payout.

The timeline I see out in the sticks is usually about 4 hours to get most things mostly working again.

Watch for display "glitches". They may be an indication that the TITO voucher won't print.

I'm still chuckling that it all happened on a busy holiday Saturday, with a full hotel, and a number of private events booked in the conference center. Bad luck, I guess. ;)

Posted by Dieter
Dec 24, 2023

Is it really a Christmas movie?

This book proposes that it is, indeed.

Happy Isaac Newton's Birthday to all. Yippee-ki-yay.


smoothgrh Dec 27, 2023

Quite clever especially how it's written in the style of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." A younger me would have run out to a major chain bookseller and snapped it up  maybe even get a couple more for gifts. But current me is disillusioned with consumerism and the corporate milking of intellectual properties.

Posted by Dieter
Dec 01, 2023

Clear! (Medical Update)

Approximately 1 hour ago, I was handed a letter clearing me for immediate return to work and travel.


The news for medical types is that ejection fraction has increased from approximately 25% to between 45%-50%.
Stay on all meds, revisit in 6 months.

Now to get cleared by the fitness exam for work...
Thanks all for your continued kind wishes.


Dieter Dec 01, 2023

Fitness exam Tuesday. They can't administer the fitness tests without say-so from the heart doctors, which I now have.

What a hassle.

EvenBob Dec 01, 2023

I wanted to give kind wishes but I was suspended by you at the time. Haven't you been working all this time while you're waiting for your clearing to return to work?

Dieter Dec 01, 2023


The medicos ordered me not to work. Modest exertion only, near the house, plenty of opportunity for rest.

I visited the office exactly twice during my recovery, both times after hours, both brief visits, nothing more significant than dropping off some paperwork or a casual watercooler chat.

Really looking forward to getting more than 75 miles from here. My feet are itchy.

smoothgrh Dec 01, 2023

Glad to hear the good news! I hope you stay on the upward trajectory!

Dieter Dec 05, 2023

Work physical cleared me!

... although they want me to repeat my "annual" physical every 3 months for the next year, which simply oozes with an abundant confidence.

High standards for travelling floor-sweepers, I suppose.

Posted by Dieter
Nov 13, 2023

Chip Washing

Those chips definitely needed a bath. 400 chips swimming in warm soapy water; it very quickly turned greyish brown as the dirt dissolved away.

A few rinses later, they're laid out on an old bath towel to dry, and feeling a lot less grimy and sticky. The whites are whiter, the pinks are pinker.


Dieter Nov 16, 2023

... and the kids have already started getting the chips dirty again. Some quality greasy fingers from the pizza, and I think I heard a few chips land in a glass of cranberry cocktail.

Dieter Nov 30, 2023

Some notes from Heather, in a video a while back:

She seems to suggest scrubbing and marginally cooler water.

Posted by Dieter
Oct 27, 2023


Every once in a while, I get a hankering to work through a list of movies that seem interesting. Unfortunately, a lot of the streaming services don't have the movies I want to see. I could buy movies, but I don't really see the point if I only want to watch it once or twice.
I happened to be killing a few minutes next to the neighborhood library, and wandered inside. They apparently have physical movies available for loan. I tend to forget about this option, since most of the time I use the library apps to stream audiobooks or videos.
Currently watching 21, a movie that I really don't feel like watching often enough to own. I was amused to see one of the Aces in the opening sequence misrepresented.
The style of cards used was the one with the four corner indices for the Aces, which I believe is the "Tech Art II" style face. The index mark positioning on one of Aces would have incorrectly read as a ten-value in the reader device.

The downside, sometimes I have to wait a few days for someone else to return the movie I'm thinking about. This is a minor hassle, since there are almost always other movies on my list, many of which are on-hand.
If absolutely everything else is unavailable, I found they have apparently complete collections of MacGyver and The A-Team.
Still a big fan of the library, even if my local branch only has about 30 inches of books on gaming on the shelf.